The first thing to say about 2022 is that we sadly lost Foundation Trustee and Chair of Harton Miners Welfare John Watson at the beginning of the year.
John was fundamental in securing the agreement between the Foundation and the Miners Welfare that saved the site from closure. John is sadly missed and we remain committed to carrying on the work to deliver community impact at the Welfare in his name.
As the club’s charity, we have remained focused in 2022 on tackling some of the issues our community face around health and well-being by working with others and increasing the number of young people and adults who we engage, retain and progress through our programmes.
Here are four examples of our work against our strategic priorities and an insight into some of our plans for 2023.
SP1 Securing the capital investment for the development of Harton Welfare and other facilities
We have continued to manage the facilities at Harton Welfare on behalf of the miners. It’s a fantastic facility that we have breathed new life into and it continues to go from strength to strength, supporting the activities delivered by the Foundation and hosting first-team training.
We recently completed, with the assistance of a grant from Sport England, the refurbishment of the boxing gym and the installation of a mezzanine floor to create a new multi-purpose space upstairs that increases the opportunities we have to deliver activities that support health and well-being.
We’ve also been busy trying to secure the long-term sustainability of the site with the creation of a masterplan to create a 3G football pitch, grass 9v9 football pitch and indoor futsal arena. The planning work is complete and a planning application is currently lodged with the council for the development, which also unlocks the relocation of South Tyneside College to the town centre.
Work is also advanced on securing the financial package for the development, and this will continue to remain a priority in the early part of 2023.
SP2 Growing and diversifying the Foundation’s income streams
The Foundation’s business model relies on its financial sustainability. Most of our income comes from traded activities, the profit from which is reinvested in our charitable activities. We aim not to be grant dependent or a financial burden on anyone.
Our events programme at Harton Welfare, consisting of 10 big events and 100 small events, has been achieved, helping us to move closer to that our sustainability targets.
We have received financial backing from Geoff Thompson, Port of Tyne, John F Hunt Regeneration, Places for People and the Police and Crime Commissioner to support our delivery programme.
Harton Welfare hosted 1,800 people at Rosiefest 2022 in July and we are delighted that Rosiefest 2023 will be returning to the Welfare on July 1st, 2023. We also hosted two outdoor boxing events and a number of charity football matches to raise money for local good causes, which is an integral part of our business model.
Our schools programme goes from strength to strength and is currently sold out. We are already preparing for next year, which has the potential to secure Primary Stars funding, which would transform our delivery capability, should we achieve National League status.
SP3 Extending the social impact delivered by the Foundation in South Tyneside
Our most recent social accounts show 57,000 ‘visits’ to our activity programmes by adults and young people. This was delivered by our Foundation staff and 58 volunteers, who delivered over 5,000 volunteering hours, largely supporting our grassroots football programme.
Our activity programme is developed to support the five things that support mental health and well-being, which is why our healthy activity programmes (football, dance and boxing) are supported by campaigns to help people understand what is happening (for example, Covid Community Champion), activities that support social isolation (for example, the Miners Banner Group and a charity-based business model which seeks to support events that raise money for local good causes, like Rosiefest with Cancer Connections).
We are also very proud of our learning and activity sessions in schools. We work with over 1,200 children each week on movement, literacy, numeracy, team-work and resilience.
Our social impact total, since formation in 2017, is now more than £10million, meaning we deliver £13 of social impact for every £1 we spend.
SP4 Developing and extending our partnerships and collaborative delivery
We see our role as filling in the gaps that aren’t picked up by others, which is where we add value.
One such example is the partnership we have created with Epinay School.
At the end of last season, we ran a work experience project for Year 11 students in the week that led up to the visit from Football Focus. We created and delivered an innovative project that saw students take over elements of retail, hospitality and horticulture in the week leading up to matchday. Some of the students delivered matchday hospitality and a group led a training session.
It was a great success and we have already booked in ‘Takeover 2’ for March 2023. We are also exploring more exciting new collaborations for 2023.
We successfully delivered projects with the Police and Crime Commissioner to tackle youth disorder and knife crime and projects with the council to ensure children and young people could access affordable holiday activity programmes and healthy meals.
We look forward to 2023 with a great degree of excitement and determination to continue to grow our contribution to the health and well-being of our fantastic community.